BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO
THE Zimbabwe senior netball team finished its Africa Netball Cup campaign on a high after securing a 57-46 victory over Kenya yesterday.
The win came as a huge relief for the team following its 47-44 defeat to Botswana on Sunday.
The Gems’ campaign was a tale of ups and downs as they struggled for consistency throughout the tournament.
In yesterday’s match, the Gems dominated from the first quarter up to the final whistle, but better ball control would have seen more scores for the Gems.
The two teams went for the first quarter break 16-8, second quarter 31-22, third quarter 44-32 and the final quarter 57-46, all in favour of the Gems.
After the match, Zimbabwe Netball Association president Letitia Chipandu said the victory was timely and would boost the girls’ confidence, considering that they fielded a young side.
“Our girls played the type of game that we expected them to play.
“The team attacked and defended as a whole. They looked more composed, they enjoyed the game, they were determined to win and we won against Kenya,” she said.
“We are very happy with this win because it’s going to add our points and also our world ranking.”
“Let me say it was one of the best games the girls played after having lost to Botswana yesterday (Sunday) because of fatigue. I’m happy to say that this was a very necessary experience for the girls.”
Chipandu added: “We did not win as much as we had expected, but all the same, we are happy, we are grateful for what we have done as a team. This is going to really motivate the youngsters to want to train to keep fit for the next encounter.”
The Gems started their campaign with a 78-27 defeat to South Africa before bouncing back in their second match against Namibia, where they won 50-49.
Thereafter, they were edged by sixth-ranked Malawi 56-42 in their third match.
Their fourth game against Tanzania became their remarkable win compared to the first one after they defeated the east Africans 58-39.
On Saturday, they played two matches where they were first whipped by Uganda 73-47 before ending their day with a 54-53 victory over Zambia.
The match against Zambia was a tightly contested affair following their draw in the Pent Series.
The defeat to Botswana was probably their lowest point in this tournament.
They were dominated from the first up to the last quarter, allowing Botswana to register their first win in the tournament.
- Follow Magreth on Twitter @MagrethRuzvidzo